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I live on Maidstone bypass MailMarks

I KNOW many living in Maidstone area

now have a tale of woe about increasing local traffic problems, but please bear with me for a couple of minutes to learn of mine shared with the good folk of Farleigh. I accepted more than 30 years ago that

Lower Road, East Farleigh, was a Maidstone bypass for many living in the south of our borough, but now the consequences are ap- palling. As the centre of Maidstone becomes more

congested, so more drivers seek a bypass at a time when this route is beset with new and se- rious problems. The slowest part of our journey is now

usually from the M20 via Hermitage Lane, the Tonbridge Road traffic lights, Farleigh Lane, Farleigh railway crossing, Farleigh Bridge, Station Hill and Lower Road. It can easily take 30 minutes, at worst an

hour. So we have had to give up on Papa's lovely takeaway fish and chips at Ditton! The new traffic lights close to theA20 junc- tion in Hermitage Lane are the final straw.

Think about pedestrians

I RECENTLY visited my daughter who lives in Leeds village and stayed at a bed and breakfast a five-minutewalk away. My wife is disabled and gets around in a motorised scooter.We had great difficulty crossing Upper Street and travelling up and down the street. It is clear that most of the rules of the

road are ignored, since there is no enforcement whatsoever. In fact, some of the signswarn that civilians will report wrongdoings, which I'm sure is an inside joke to the many lorry drivers. Iwas led to understand that large lorries

are banned from the village but I did witness many large trucks that barely fit in one lane and many vehicles travelling well above the speed limit in Leeds. What I would hope is that the village considers pedestrian crossings. Itwas very difficult for my wife to cross the street because the traffic didn't slow down and the road didn't always have easy access for her scooter, leaving her in the road longer than a non-disabled person. I also didn't feel safe. The pavementwas

very narrow – you could notwalk side by side – but evenwalking single file, the cars and trucks would speed by and you could be knocked over by the closeness of a lorry, especially those with extended mirrors. I'm sure there is no easy answer but, in


What thought went in to these? They cause major problems and serious delays in all di- rections. I believe they are also dangerous for A20 users. Something has got to be done –we have been very badly let down. In East Farleigh,we are always being told

after investigations that nothing can be done about the busy railway crossing and our very historical single-lane bridge. It is a traffic nightmare and big lorries, which use it ille- gally, are causing serious damage. It is a horse-and-cart route expected to cope with the ever-increasing weight of modern traffic. It suits Kent County Council to turn a blind eye, but this just cannot go on. With all the development scheduled in the

next few years, this horror story will get worse. Talking has got to turn to action. There

the meantime, it would be nice to make the road safer for pedestrians. It wouldn't be expensive to implement a pedestrian crossing, traffic lights, etc. I hope that the road improves before I visit again next year. Joseph Irrera, by email

Relief road above politics

OF COURSE a Leeds/Langley relief road must be built. In fact, it should have been built decades ago. Resisting a relief road, for whatever reason, is undemocratic. Too many residents, motorists and businesses are now affected. I have personally been involved with others collecting over 6,000 signatures calling for the relief road. The public are geing very angry, frustrated and bewildered that such an obvious solution remains on the drawing board.With many politicians and officers from both (Kent County Council and Maidstone Borough Council ) authorities agreeing the need, the question must be asked: "Where is it? Why arewe still talking about it"? We all live in the 21st century, in a very strategic location, in one the busiest parts of the UK.We can't hold back time,we can’t pretend our roads are coping when they are not. MBC’s Cllr David Burton and KCC’s Cllr Gary Cooke recognise this.

has been plenty of pressure and I ampleased to see it is building once again.

TheGreatWar exhibition atMaidstone Mu-

seum fascinated me for an hour – and I chal- lenge anyone not to be moved by events which touched our town so strongly 100 years ago.

The centre pieces are two magnificent 1916

paintings by local artist Frank Hyde – one showing a convoy of wounded soldiers re- turning to Maidstone East Station and the other a battle scene from Trone’s Wood, on the Somme. There are many telling exhibits which set

the scene for the sadness and horrors felt by Maidstone residents at the time. Do not miss the postcards written recently

by Maidstone children with messages they think they would have written from the front to loved ones at home. May their time never come. It is the season of Remembrance Day – an appropriate time to take in this exhibition.

Delivering the relief road must be above politics - it is far too important to us all.A suggestionwas made, for any further actionwe may have towait until May 2017, after the Kent County Council elections. Now the routes have been published, it cannot be in anyone's interest to delay. Finally, I amnot in the least surprised

with the flippant, patronising comment made by the UKIP spokesman, Eddie Powell. I have been campaigning with others for

over 25 years for the relief road,well before his time.We have collected residents' signatures, within tight time-frames, from Willington Street, Senacre, Parkwood, Shepway and local villages. Cllr Cooke has also worked tirelessly

with me and others to kick start this road. He and I have naturally had a few disagreements over the years, but we continue to workwell together towards this much-needed road. He too, is always approachable and always supportive. Sometime ago, I approached UKIP, unfortunately they were not at all interested. Mr Powell said: “I hope they do it for the benefit of the people who live in that area.” He is obviously oblivious that "that area" is, in part, represented by his party on MBC. Jenny Suon,Willington Street (WillAct)

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